A Conceptualist Argument for a Spiritual Substantial Soul
by J.P. Moreland
- Title: A Conceptualist Argument for a Spiritual Substantial Soul
- Date: 11/19/2011
- Source: Presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Philosophical Society Meeting, and of the EPS's session at the American Academy of Religion, in San Francisco, California.
- Article Type: Presentation
- Audience: Advanced
- Kingdom Categories: Life of the Mind
Even if spirits/souls do not exist, it seems that we have an understanding of what it would be for such things to be real. Thus, we can understand what it would be for demons or angels to exist, Cartesian egos to obtain in some possible world, and God to be a spirit.
In light of this, I advance a type of conceptualist argument for substance dualism—minimally, the view that we are spiritual substances that have bodies—based on the understandability of what it would be for something to be a spirit, e.g., what it would be for God to be a spirit.
After presenting the argument formally, I clarify and defend its various premises with a special focus on what I take to be the most controversial one.
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- It uniquely advances an argument for the existence of a substantial soul
- It offers a response to naturalistic/atheistic objections to the existence of a spiritual, substantial soul.
- It utilizes past work on consciousness to help lead this philosophy of mind and metaphysics discussion in some fresh ways.